As former vice president Joe Biden considers a run for the Oval Office, his off-hand complement of Mike Pence continues to reverberate negatively.
Biden, speaking this week at a conference in Nebraska, called the current VP "a decent guy." LGBTQ activists, including former New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, quickly criticized the tone-deaf comment; Pence has made a career out of dehumanizing LGBTQ people and stripping rights from women.
Following Nixon's tweet criticizing him, which prompted Biden to add the caveat that "there's nothing decent about being anti-LGBTQ rights," the actress and activist fleshed out her thoughts in a scathing Washington Post op-ed, published Saturday.
After laying out Pence's well-known assault on LGBTQ people and women, Nixon insinuated that a white male boys' club still exists, where civility is valued over principles.
"When politicians of a certain age reminisce about the 'civility' that used to define Washington, it’s telling that the old guard conveniently forgets that this decorum has never been extended to all," Nixon writes. "Respecting each other’s rights and humanity is what makes us civilized — not keeping a civil tone while doing the opposite."
Nixon then reminds readers of Biden's regrettable treatment of Anita Hill in 1991, a professor who accused then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment.
"As chairman of the 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Thomas, Biden did not call other women to testify out of collegiality toward Thomas and his Republican colleagues, leaving Hill, the silenced women and the truth itself as collateral damage," Nixon writes.
Nixon finally makes the case that someone steeped in the boys' club of Washington may never be able to truly understand what's at stake for marginalized groups: "If Democrats are too wedded to the collegiality of the Senate dining room to call out the Republicans who espouse homophobia, how are we ever going to stop them?"